Domestic terrorism takes center stage

The current crisis over domestic terrorists with no statute to address more murderous actions has become an enlarged swamp. President Trump blames the latest “swamp” on the media while a mirror into which he should look would see his own reflection and what he has exasperated, starting when he accused former President Obama as foreign born and later when he referred to immigrants from southern climes as criminals all.

The swamp we see today is literally growing by the day and most recently had its shoreline broadened by domestic terrorist actions in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, too, with no end in sight. There are those trying hard to deal directly and effectively with this mushrooming phenomenon. A few days ago, for example, trying to be the adults in America, the former senior directors at the National Security Council, that is, Nicholas Rasmussen, Joshua Geltzer and Javed Ali, wrote and released a memo that read, “We call on our government to make addressing this form of terrorism as high a priority as countering international terrorism became after 9/11. We simply cannot wait any longer.”

They and many others at all levels of government in these United States recognize that deaths by domestic terrorists have spiked 35 percent in the last year. Despite that fact and many others associated with the same nationalist fervor, the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disposed of a dozen or more security analysts who formerly focused on domestic terrorism, downgrading and relocating them in the DHS. Further, the current NEA director has, ignoring his knowledge of the subject, had his responsibilities shifted to a new assignment.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s senior U.S. Senator, Ron Wyden, among several other U.S. senators, urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the senators, now on a five-week break, back to Washington to act on gun control legislation. McConnell, however, says he won’t move on any legislation unless President Trump approves of it. Meanwhile, Trump does not want any barriers placed. Hence, McConnell, who may give lip service by expressing concerns, will do nothing to protect more U.S. innocents from domestic terrorist attacks.

Most recently, Trump himself has come out to denounce the actions of domestic terrorists but places the blame everywhere but on himself. As everyone paying attention knows, Trump has repeatedly made a case against persons of color and encouraged those who agree with him to make certain Americans of color return to their country of origin even when they’ve been born in the U.S. Trump uses a teleprompter with prepared scripts written to claim he’s against these terrorists when he reads them without enthusiasm.

By FBI efforts during the Johnson administration, the Ku Klux Klan was crushed while skinhead aspirants and other groups seeking to overthrow America in reaction to the Voting Rights Act. It is obvious that President Trump has no real interest in dealing down the white terrorists/nationalists any more than U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr wants to be a traditional attorney general or Senate President McConnell wants to serve the American people rather than Trump. 

Our future now rests in the hands of our young, up-and-coming politicians to save America or allow it to become a totalitarian regime —free of a Constitution and Bill of Rights—under a second term headed by Donald J. Trump. Do we want a bigger swamp of crooked crocodiles or a metaphorical future with clear, transparent waters where virtually all Americans can realistically see themselves in that pool’s reflection as successful and fulfilled.  

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion regularly in the Keizertimes.)